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Study: Americans overpaying for LTE

updated 07:37 pm EDT, Mon October 15, 2012

Study compares US and European LTE rates

American wireless customers are paying significantly more for LTE service than are their counterparts in Europe. This according to a new study from the research arm of the GSM Association, which represents mobile operators. The study looked at LTE service rates in the United States and in several European countries, finding that data policies among the major American carriers, in combination with a lack of competition, are driving up the cost of service far beyond what European customers pay.

The study found that Verizon, leader among American LTE providers, charges $7.50 per gigabyte of data provided over its LTE network. On average, European customers pay $2.50 per gigabyte, while Swedish customers pay as little as 63 cents per gigabyte.

The study pointed to the fact that American providers sell LTE as part of a larger mobile package, while European operators sell it as a stand-alone service at a lower price. American providers have increasingly phased out unlimited data packages in favor of bundled data packages, which net them higher revenues.

The lack of competition among LTE providers, too, plays a role in the cost difference. AT&T and Verizon dominate the market in the United States, whereas the European market has more competition: 38 operators compared to the two major options in the United States. European customers are also able to buy LTE on a pay-as-you-go basis from virtual network operators.

by MacNN Staff




  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-19-04

    We also grossly overpay for text messaging and last-mile fees, while receivers of Obamaphones don't have to pay a cent in many states, or pay subsidized rates that are far below those quoted from europe. Did they really need a study for this?

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    In other news, the sky is blue, and water continues to be wet.

    Oh, hey, how about a story about how Americans pay more for healthcare than nations with single-payer, but have lower life expectancy? That's about as surprising at this point. Or yet another story about how America has more prisons and a higher rate of incarceration per capita than any other country, including the ones we're supposed to imagine are really repressive.

    The fact is, Americans are conditioned to accept this kind of crap as the price of Freedom and Democracy, even though nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution does it say "oh, yeah, and if multinational corporations can't make huge profits and pay essentially no taxes then everything we said here is null and void". We have to let corporations screw us, because the alternative -- whatever it is, no matter what the context is -- is always painted as Socialism, which is one of the boogeymen under the American bed.

  1. Salsa

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 10-27-03

    It also costs more to cover a very large geographical area that is sparsely populated. Europe has many more people per cell tower.

    Crony capitalism might also be a factor, but the rate of incarceration in the USA has nothing to do with it. The Vicar needs to chill.

  1. johnnydfred

    Registered User

    Joined: 12-09-09

    Yeah, a grossly underwhelming study result. Talk about the monthlies Americans pay, compared to Europe. How about (as has been mentioned) the texting fees. Data caps. Lack of tethering without a monthly fee. If you are going to do such a study, be complete. I mean this isn't Fox News, but it's getting there.

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